To Schedule a Program or Field Trip:
school bus
1. Contact the Science Center

Phone: 781-455-0475

2. Request the bus through the Transportation Department. Fill out a Charter Request form to request a bus. 
  • The Transportation Department charges teachers the rate for a two-hour bus trip (approximately $105) for most trips. This will not apply if the bus driver is required to be on the bus for more than two hours.
  • For any Town Forest trips less than two hours, buses will stay at the location in case of inclement weather.
  •  Drivers pick up/drop off students between 9am - 10:50am, and/or12:30pm - 1:50pm.


  • We will notify you in advance about needs such as permission forms or volunteers.
  • Science Center staff will assume the trip is confirmed, unless we hear otherwise from teachers.
  • The Science Center can sometimes accommodate two classes simultaneously. Contact the us for details.
  • We prefer to run all trips with the regular classroom teacher in attendance.

2017-2018 Programs and Field Trip Offerings

Live Animal Program (30 minutes)
Live Hedgehog program relating to The Mitten (30-45 minutes)
Animals in Winter (60-70 minutes) 
Grade 1
New! Acorns of Eastman (60 minutes)
Grade 2
Town Forest (90 minutes)
Vermicomposting (75 minutes)
Grade 3
Dino Dig (90 minutes)
Dinos and their Relatives (Pt 1) (75 minutes)
Dinos and their Relatives (Pt 2) (60 minutes) 
Grade 4
Bees Program (70 minutes)
Geology Tour (100-120 minutes)
Stream Tables (90 minutes)
Grade 5
Simple Machines (60 minutes)
Eastman Invertebrates Trip (2 hours outdoor, 1 hr 15 minutes indoors)
Squid dissection (75 minutes)
New! What is a Watershed?


Torte eating

   Live Animal Visitor Program    
   Length: 30 minutes
   Location: Your classroom

Captivate your students with a visit from Tort, our oldest and largest resident. This yellow-footed tortoise comes from the Amazon, 60 years old in 2015, Tort Science Center staffer will bring the animal, describe how we keep the animal healthy and safe, and answer student questions.

squirrel in snow

   Animals in Winter Program
   Length: 1.5 hours
   Location: Your classroom and your schoolyard

How do wild animals survive a Massachusetts winter? Students explore three different animal adaptations - hibernation, migration, and staying active. We spend most of the program outdoors looking for evidence of animal behavior. This includes searching for tracks, nests, and live animals. Students are guaranteed to find something - prior to the exploration, the Science Center places animal artifacts where students will find them.

Grade 1


Oaks of Eastman
Length: 60 - 75 minutes                             
Location: Newman, Eastman Area
This program works best in fall and spring when trees have leaves. We focus on acorns and oak trees as part of the life cycle unit. We'll start off with a play that allows all students to act out the life cycle of an oak tree. From there, we observe oak trees in various life cycle stages. We will use Eastman's outdoor classroom to open up acorns and observe the root and stem.

Grade 2

Soil and Trees

soil in hands
Vermiculture Soil Composting Program
Length: 1.5 hours
Location: Your school (outdoors preferred, indoor possible)
What happens to a leaf once it falls from a tree? What happens to food we don't eat? What exactly is a vermicomposter? Working in small groups, students follow a "recipe" to create their own vermicomposter. They make predictions about what will happen over time, then make obserations to see if their predictions came true.

eastman forest trip
Town Forest Field Trip
Length: 1.5 Hours
Location: Town Forest, Needham
This trip works best if the classroom teacher can find at least 3 adult helpers to accompany us. Learn how to "read a forest" by looking for evidence such as felled trees, bird nests, and rotten logs. Working in teams, we'll go on a forest scavenger hunt to learn more about reading the forest. Figure out creative ways to measure the girth of trees, and use a tool called "slice of silence" to help focus your observation skills.

Grade 3 Fossils
Enrich your fossil unit with this full day of activities at the Science Cente
r. Students enjoy a bag lunch and use the Newman playground at recess. If a full day doesn't fit your schedule, we can also plan to do the fossil activities on separate days, either in your classroom or at the Science Center.
Dino Dig Program
What is it like to be a paleontologist out on a dig? Students find out by working in cooperative teams, using tools, and digging for replicas of dinosaur bones. Students document their find through their own sketches.

Dinos and Their Relatives Part 1
Students compare the similarities and differences between birds and reptiles. They complete research at various stations and complete a science sketch of a live bird and reptile. This program then ties into Part 2.
Dinos and Their Relatives Part 2
As a continuation of Part 1, students will receive information about a mystery animal. Based on what they learned in Part 1, along with new information they discover about dinosaurs in Part 2, they will try to identify the mystery animal.

Grade 4:
Evidence of an ancient volcano!
Students examine volcanic tuff at Claxton field in Needham.

Geology Bus Tour
Length: 1.5 Hours. Location: Tour Needham and Wellesley. Can be a standalone tour or done same day as Stream Table Activity
As part of the Changing Earth Unit, students visit natural formations and try to figure out what types of events created the structures they will observe. We'll start off in Wellesley where we will find a Volcanic plug (remains of an actual volcano). Next, we make several stops in Needham: The Eliot School rock (created by a river), Claxton Field (volcanic evidence), Rosemary Lake (created by a glacier).

Stream Tables
Length: 1.5 Hours. Location: Science Center. Can be a standalone tour or done same day as Geology Bus Tour
As part of the Changing Earth Unit, students explore the creation of rivers and streams by using models called Stream Tables. Working in small groups, students first observe how a river forms. Once the river has established its path, students build a town and try to protect it from flooding.

Bee Program
Length: 1 Hour.
Location: Your classroom.
As part of the Insects Unit, students use microscopes to examine parts of a honey bee and figure out how these parts help determine a honey bee's behavior and survival. Even within the same hive, honey bees have different jobs such as the queen, drones, and worker bees. Students also discuss how honey bees help plants, other animals, and humans survive.

Grade 5

 Invertebrates - The Marvelous Majority!

eastman netting

Length: Full Day
Location: Eastman Area, Newman School and Science Center

This two-part learning experience for students is an integral component of the grade five, life science curriculum. Teachers have an option of bringing students on an all day field trip to the Science Center to experience parts 1 & 2 together on the same day.

Part 1: Eastman Invertebrates Trip  
Spend an hour exploring Eastman Area's pond and woods. Look
 for microscopic creatures at the pond, and vertebrates and invertebrates in the woods.

Part 2: Exploring Invertebrates with Microscop

eastman microscopes
In the Science Center Discovery Room, a Science Center staffer guides the students in discovering the diversity of living organisms within a drop of pond water. Students use magnification tools, classification keys to reveal and identify the microscopic invertebrates of the Eastman pond.Students will also observe any larger organisms collected in the woods.

squid diagram 

   Squid Dissection         
   Length: 1.5 hours
   Location: Your Classroom (or Science Center)

This class introduces students to the importance of dissection and the use of basic dissection tools. Because this class is likely a student's first experience with dissection, we work slowly to allow students time to gain a better comfort level with the process. Students quickly overcome any misgivings as they delve into the fascinating innards of a squid.

Simple Machines
Length: 1.5 Hours
Location: Your classroom or your performance center
This lesson works best as the culmination of the Simple Machines unit. See a large-scale demonstration of the six simple machines your students have been studying.

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